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December is here!

It is surely one of the best parts of the job when working with young children and Christmas (or the C word that we are not allowed to mention until December as one child rather alarmingly added) starts to become in touching distance. December is a glorious month for it heralds the end of the old year and offers as its reward a special celebration that brings family and friends together from all over the world. The excitement that we are experiencing here at St Christopher’s generated by the imminent arrival of all things festive, could light up Epsom. It is a joy to behold and it is contagious too.

The ardent work around the school making Christmas Lists, writing to Santa, writing Christmas cards, hearing and re-telling the story of the very first Christmas and writing gift tags has all contributed to the most wonderful writing and literacy work. Using some fabulous and plausible spelling attempts our tiny children have written some lovely lists of things required during the festive season which sound fine when you read them out loud. Who would not want colourful ‘blns’ to blow up and decorate their house? If you read emergent writing as often as we do you will notice that vowels are often considered superfluous by tiny writers and are always the last to make a guest appearance. I also loved ‘prtee fd’ listed as a must for those elegant Christmas parties and if you add an a as the second letter of the first word, replace the ee with a y and remember to insert some vowels with the second word-double o will do- I am sure you will agree with me!

The art and craft designs have also excelled this year with some beautiful clay fired presents-to be and lovingly made models and gifts that will make someone’s day very special. The value is created by the effort and there is no doubt in each creator’s mind that they have made the perfect present. Each year we also ask each class to design their own Christmas Tree decoration and then enjoy the Tree Dressing Assembly when each child proudly stands up dangling their own decoration full of colour and sparkle before choosing a designated branch and hanging it on the School tree. It doesn’t matter that the pipe-cleaners, which in the design brief were antlers, have been placed as arms and the effects of googly eyes often placed too close together on the top, middle and bottom of the reindeer just adds charm. The children gaze in wonder as the tree fills with ornaments and the Hall is full of children singing ‘Oh Christmas Tree’, ‘Once in Royal David’s City’ and ‘Away in the Manger’ which literally brings tears to the eyes and I’m suddenly aware that my eyes must look a bit like that reindeer, second branch on the left!

Annie Thackray